Faith, Hope and Charity
When this election season started, I figured I’d be writing lots of blog posts handicapping the candidates and remarking on the ups and downs of a rough-and-tumble campaign.
I didn’t think I’d be writing an informal series on the Republican War on Women.
It all started back in February, when I wrote “Inconceivable”. When the House leadership came to power in the 2010 Republican landslide, they promised to focus on job creation. Who knows why they abandoned this approach, or whether they even intended to implement it in the first place. For reasons that passeth all understanding, they decided they were elected on a socially conservative agenda and began to champion a set of regressive and destructive social policies.
No longer was 9.4% unemployment, with many running out of time in their benefits, any problem. Those people turned out to be moochers, not makers, in David Brooks’ famous phrasing. They were the 47 percent who were going to vote for Obama anyway. Nothing we can do to get their votes, Republicans apparently figured.
Charity, at least in the form of government assistance, used to be viewed as a good thing by all Americans. As recently as the Reagan year of 1987, a majority of Republicans joined a larger majority of Democrats and independents in agreeing with the statement “It’s the government’s responsibility to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves.” Democratic and independent support for this proposition has remained steadily high, but Republican agreement has plummeted. Now a minority of Republicans believe in government assistance, a 35-percentage-point gap between Republicans and Democrats. When one mixes in Federal fiscal discipline, the gap becomes even larger, a whopping 45 percent. Sixty-five percent of Democrats think the government should help the needy, even if it means more debt, while only 20 percent of Republicans agree.
One of my earliest encounters with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was in a rudimentary version of what we’d now call Computer Camp, in 1974. I went to Movie Night at Brigham Young University, and they were showing Hawaii. During the early scene in which the Congregationalist missionaries pray over their meal of New England Pot Roast or some such, I heard a whisper go through the audience. Finally, my ears and mind resolved what was being whispered: Calvinists! Calvinists! Then there was a series of giggles. Apparently, the Calvinist philosophy was beyond the pale for Mormons in 1974.
Not today. Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney has endorsed Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Mourdock, who famously said at a debate Tuesday:
Life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.
So, if I follow this tortured theology, God cannot prevent the rape from happening in the first place but His word can prevent a woman from seeking an abortion. According to Todd Akin and the particular conservative school of theology to which he and Mourdock apparently belong, “legitimate rape” cannot result in conception through God’s divine intervention. Therefore, if it does, then God must have intended for it to be.
I understand the idea that life begins at conception, but if this is so, then how can one justify killing another human being in war? With drone strikes? Or how can one justify state-sponsored executions of criminals?
Did God intend for Trayvon Martin to be killed?
If everything is preordained, then the poor are poor because they damn well deserve to be. God makes them moochers. Who are we to interfere?
Charity was apparently not an option, therefore, for the Class of 2010 Republican legislators. On to Hope.
— Sarah Palin, February 2010 National Tea Party Convention speech
Perhaps Hope was not an option, either.
Faith! The Republican Party still has Faith! Not the greatest of these, mind you, but Faith will have to do as the rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born on November 6.
- Richard Mourdock rape remarks prompt calls for Romney to act
- Romney campaign says he still supports Senate candidate after rape comment
- Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin Are Not the Same
- Mourdock speaks out on rape comments
- Republican Senate hopeful Richard Mourdock in rape row — BBC News
- The First Scandal of 2016
- Math Beat Ideology
- Election Watch: Election Day
- Romney’s Tax Plan: You Can’t Get There from Here
- The Romney Plan: Winners and Losers
- The Problem of Evil
- Reëlection Watch: October 27, 2012
- October Surprise: Romney Endorses Obama!
- Reëlection Watch: October 20, 2012